Archive for Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Stolen paintings found on car’s back seat

February 20, 2008


— A frantic search for four stolen Impressionist paintings led to a most unlikely place: the parking lot of a mental hospital just a few hundred yards from the scene of the crime.

There, in the back seat of an unlocked car, a painting by Claude Monet and another by Vincent van Gogh were found Monday in perfect condition, authorities said Tuesday.

The paintings, worth $64 million combined, were still under the display glass used by the private museum from which they were stolen in a Feb. 10 armed robbery, museum director Lukas Gloor said.

"I am incredibly relieved that two paintings have returned," Gloor said. "We're very happy that both the paintings are in absolutely impeccable shape."

The other two paintings taken from the E.G. Buehrle Collection - by Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas - remain missing, police said. Together, the four paintings are worth an estimated $163 million.


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